>> february, 2005. a massive car bomb killed the influential suny prime minister and more than 20 others. he was defying the syrians at the time. saudi and american backers blamed in damascus for the outrage. so did many lebanese, despite syrian denials. there were huge demonstrations in beirut, demanding the withdrawal of syrian forces that have been here since 1976. under passive pressure the troops did withdraw, leaving syrian influence at its lowest ebb. barely a year later, in july 2006, the militant shiite movie -- movement, has a lot, triggered a war with israel, which was thought of as a triumph. syria's stock rose, too.